A FIELD of eight runners will shape up to face the starter in tomorrow's Betfair Chase at Haydock which is being billed as 'a mini Gold Cup' due to the quality of the field.
Last season's Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth is set to make his seasonal debut for Nicky Henderson alongside his stable companion and winner of the 2011 Gold Cup Long Run.
Between the eight runners in the field they have accumulated 18 Grade One victories so far and it will be interesting to see who will be the one that adds to his tally.
Last year's winner, Silviniaco Conti, intrigued many with his run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last March as he was travelling as well as anything when crashing out three from home.
Tidal Bay and Roi Du Mee couldn't have got their seasons off to a better start, as Tiday Bay reverted to hurdles to win a Grade Two at Wetherby, while Roi Du Mee followed his second in a Punchestown Grade Three to win the Grade One JNWine.com Champion Chase by 13-lengths at Down Royal.
Cue Card and Long Run also have the benefit of a run over the likes of Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti, but they were both beaten favourites, with Long Run out of the first three for the first time since joining Henderson, and Cue Card having to settle for third place behind Somersby in the Haldon Gold Cup.
David Pipe's Dynaste skipped last week's Paddy Power Gold Cup in favour of this race and after finishing second to Benefficient at Cheltenham, and then winning at Aintree, he is an interesting recruit from the novice ranks. All the attention will be on Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth, however, as he graces us with his presence in competitive action for the first time since he left Sir Des Champs seven lengths behind in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
There is no doubt that the eight-year-old sets the standard and he hasn't been out of the first three throughout his career, only suffering defeat three times in his 12 races, which has seen him win at three Cheltenham Festivals in a row having, won the Albert Bartlett Novice Chase and RSA Chase prior to the Gold Cup.
If he turns up at his best, Bobs Worth will add another Grade One to his impressive portfolio. But if there is to be any chinks in his armour as he has his first run since March, there will be plenty of others ready to battle it out and pick up the pieces.